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Autochromes. 1915

Photography’s earliest practitioners dreamed of finding a method for reproducing the world around them in color. Some nineteenth-century photographers experimented with chemical formulations aimed at producing color images by direct exposure, while others applied paints and powders to the surfaces of monochrome prints. Vigorous experimentation led to several early color processes, some of which were even patented, but the methods were often impractical, cumbersome and unreliable.

After decades of wishing for a practical color process, photographers were thrilled when Auguste and Louis Lumière announced the invention of the autochrome process. The Lumière brothers, inventors of the motion picture camera, presented their invention to the French Academy of Sciences in 1904. The process used a screen of tiny potato starch grains dyed orange-red, green and violet. Dusted onto a glass plate, the dyed grains were covered with a layer of sensitive panchromatic silver bromide emulsion. As light entered the camera, it was filtered by the dyed grains before it reached the emulsion. While the exposure time was very long, the plate could be processed easily by a photographer familiar with standard darkroom procedures. The result was a unique, realistic, positive color image on glass that required no further printing.

George Eastman House has significant holdings of autochromes, including over 3900 examples by amateur photographer Charles Zoller of Rochester, New York. The museum also holds autochromes by Edward Steichen among others.
Foolish House, Ontario Beach Park in 1910
68 Media in collectionpage 1 of 1

Woman posed as sphinx

Accession Number: 1983:0063:0002..Maker: Dr. W. Simon..Title: Woman posed as sphinx..Date: ca. 1910..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 8 x 8 cm Overall: 10 x 12.6 cm..George... more

Couple

Accession Number: 1977:0083:0080..Maker: Mrs. Benjamin F. Russell..Title: Couple..Date: ca. 1910..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 15.8 x 12.6 cm Overall: 17.9 x 12.6 cm..Ge... more

School children with teachers under Magnolia trees on Oxford Street

Accession Number: 1982:2041:0053..Maker: Charles C. Zoller (American 1854-1934)..Title: School children with teachers under Magnolia trees on Oxford Street..Date: ca. 1910..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochr... more

Arnett YMCA

Accession Number: 1982:2042:0034..Maker: Charles C. Zoller (American 1854-1934)..Title: Arnett YMCA..Date: 1907 - 1932..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: 3 1/4 x 4 in...George Eastm... more

Syzanthus Butterfly Orchid

Accession Number: 1982:2110:0006..Maker: Charles C. Zoller..Title: Syzanthus Butterfly Orchid..Date: ca. 1909..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: 3 1/4 x 4 in...George Eastman House C... more

Woman in greenhouse

Accession Number: 1977:0083:0083..Maker: Mrs. Benjamin F. Russell..Title: Woman in greenhouse..Date: ca. 1910..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 16.6 x 10.8 cm Overall: 17.7 ... more

Girl with collection of dolls

Accession Number: 1983:0062:0035..Maker: Unidentified..Title: Girl with collection of dolls..Date: ca. 1910..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 7.3 x 9.2 cm Overall: 7.8 x 10... more

Still life study, bowl of fruit behind gold frame

Accession Number: 1983:0063:0009..Maker: Dr. W. Simon..Title: Still life study, bowl of fruit behind gold frame..Date: ca. 1910..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 8.2 x 10.2 c... more

Costumed man examining jewelry (pawnbroker?)

Accession Number: 1983:0063:0003..Maker: Dr. W. Simon..Title: Costumed man examining jewelry (pawnbroker?)..Date: ca. 1910..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 10 x 12.6 cm..Geo... more

Louis Lumiere with microscope and test tubes

Accession Number: 1983:0062:0034..Maker: Unidentified..Title: Louis Lumiere with microscope and test tubes..Date: ca. 1910..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 7.3 x 4.8 cm Ov... more

Native American Man

Accession Number: 1977:0083:0061..Maker: Mrs. Benjamin F. Russell..Title: Native American Man..Date: ca. 1910..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 16.8 x 11.7 cm Overall: 17.8 ... more

Children in medieval costume

Accession Number: 1977:0083:0057..Maker: Mrs. Benjamin F. Russell..Title: Children in medieval costume..Date: ca. 1910..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 11.7 x 16.7 cm Overa... more

Reflective pond with trees and bridge

Accession Number: 1977:0083:0014..Maker: Mrs. Benjamin F. Russell..Title: Reflective pond with trees and bridge..Date: ca. 1910..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 12.6 x 17.7 ... more

Still-life with fruit bowl, flowers and books

Accession Number: 1982:1738:0001..Maker: William Shewell Ellis..Title: Still-life with fruit bowl, flowers and books..Date: ca. 1910..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 11.8 x ... more

Woman wearing dress and blue hat with feathers and pinecones

Accession Number: 1977:0374:0019..Maker: Unidentified..Title: Woman wearing dress and blue hat with feathers and pinecones..Date: ca. 1910..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 1... more

Cowgirl

Accession Number: 1977:0083:0058..Maker: Mrs. Benjamin F. Russell..Title: Cowgirl..Date: ca. 1910..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 16.8 x 11.7 cm Overall: 17.8 x 12.8 cm..G... more

Outdoor urban market scene

Accession Number: 1977:0083:0008..Maker: Unidentified..Title: Outdoor urban market scene..Date: ca. 1910..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 11.7 x 16.8 cm Overall: 12.7 x 17.... more

Genre scene, woman in kitchen peeling vegetables

Accession Number: 1983:0063:0001..Maker: Dr. W. Simon..Title: Genre scene, woman in kitchen peeling vegetables..Date: ca. 1910..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 10 x 12.8 cm.... more

Foolish House, Ontario Beach Park in 1910

Accession Number: 1982:2049:0065..Maker: Charles C. Zoller (American 1854-1934)..Title: Foolish House, Ontario Beach Park in 1910..Date: 1910..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: 3 1/... more

Woman reading in garden

Accession Number: 1978:0216:0008..Maker: Unidentified..Title: Woman reading in garden..Date: 1912..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 12 x 5 cm Overall: 13 x 6 cm..George East... more

Baby in highchair

Accession Number: 1978:0217:0017..Maker: Unidentified..Title: Baby in highchair..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 10.6 x 8 cm..George Eastman House Collection... more

Girl with Carnations

Accession Number: 1982:2047:0005..Maker: Charles C. Zoller (American 1854-1934)..Title: Girl with Carnations..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: 3 1/4 x 4 in...George... more

Woman holding baby on outdoor porch

Accession Number: 1978:0217:0010..Maker: Unidentified..Title: Woman holding baby on outdoor porch..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 10.4 x 8.1 cm Overall: 10... more

Two women under a Cherry Tree

Accession Number: 1978:0170:0049..Maker: Unidentified..Title: Two women under a Cherry Tree..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 9.9 x 12.3 cm Overall: 10.1 x 1... more

Family group outdoors

Accession Number: 1978:0170:0054..Maker: Unidentified..Title: Family group outdoors..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 9.1 x 10 cm Overall: 10.2 x 12.7 cm..Ge... more

Woman wearing fur stole and corsage

Accession Number: 1978:0183:0005..Maker: Unidentified..Title: Woman wearing fur stole and corsage..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Each Image: 3.6 x 4.5 cm Overall... more

Three boys in western costumes holding flowers

Accession Number: 1978:0175:0029..Maker: Unidentified..Title: Three boys in western costumes holding flowers..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 7.2 x 10 cm Ov... more

Woman in red dress

Accession Number: 1978:0170:0013..Maker: Unidentified..Title: Woman in red dress..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 9.2 x 7.7 cm Overall: 10.1 x 12.7 cm..Geor... more

Plant with blue-violet flowers

Accession Number: 1978:0171:0001..Maker: C.E. Wheelock..Title: Plant with blue-violet flowers..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 9.1 x 7.2 cm Overall: 10.1 x ... more

Palace of Horticulture, Pan American Exposition

Accession Number: 1977:0072:0008..Maker: Unidentified..Title: Palace of Horticulture, Pan American Exposition..Date: 1915..Medium: color screen plate (Autochrome)..Dimensions: Image: 16.8 x 24.5 cm Overall: 17... more

Ethel Dietz Nichols sitting on rock in garden

Accession Number: 1986:0907:0001..Maker: Unidentified..Title: Ethel Dietz Nichols sitting on rock in garden..Date: ca. 1911-1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 11.6 x 16.8... more

Pink lilies

Accession Number: 1978:0171:0012..Maker: C.E. Wheelock..Title: Pink lilies..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 7.2 x 9.1 cm Overall: 8.2 x 10.1 cm..George East... more

Letchworth State Park, New York

Accession Number: 1979:0242:0015..Maker: G.W. O'Grady..Title: Letchworth State Park, New York..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 11.9 x 16.7 cm Overall: 12.7 ... more

Mustached man smoking pipe

Accession Number: 1978:0170:0010..Maker: Unidentified..Title: Mustached man smoking pipe..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 9 x 9.9 cm Overall: 10.1 x 12.6 cm... more

Woman in pink dress sitting in chair holding roses

Accession Number: 1978:0216:0003..Maker: Unidentified..Title: Woman in pink dress sitting in chair holding roses..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 11.4 x 7.7 ... more

Woman in blue dress sitting near fireplace

Accession Number: 1978:0213:0001..Maker: Silberstein, L., Dr...Title: Woman in blue dress sitting near fireplace..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 9.6 x 7.2 c... more

Woman in pink cape and bonnet

Accession Number: 1977:0846:0001..Maker: Unidentified..Title: Woman in pink cape and bonnet..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color screen plate (Autochrome)..Dimensions: Image: 15 x 10.8 cm Mount: 18 x 12.9 cm..George... more

Dancer wearing Egyptian-look costume with wings reaching to the floor

Accession Number: 1977:0072:0053..Maker: Unidentified..Title: Dancer wearing Egyptian-look costume with wings reaching to the floor..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions:... more

Woman in floral silk robe

Accession Number: 1978:0200:0002..Maker: Charles Spaeth..Title: Woman in floral silk robe..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 11.5 x 8.6 cm Overall: 11.8 x 8.9... more

Man lying on ground with two dogs

Accession Number: 1978:0170:0012..Maker: Unidentified..Title: Man lying on ground with two dogs..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 9 x 11.6 cm Overall: 10.1 x... more

Pink roses in vase

Accession Number: 1979:0242:0028..Maker: G.W. O'Grady..Title: Pink roses in vase..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 11.6 x 9.2 cm Overall: 127 x 10.1 cm..Geor... more

Woman wearing red dress with houses in background

Accession Number: 1978:0189:0001..Maker: Unidentified..Title: Woman wearing red dress with houses in background..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 12 x 9.4 cm ... more

Woman and boy sitting in chair

Accession Number: 1982:1712:0001..Maker: Unidentified..Title: Woman and boy sitting in chair..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 7.3 x 6.6 cm Overall: 8.3 x 10... more

Man posing with stein

Accession Number: 1978:0170:0020..Maker: Unidentified..Title: Man posing with stein..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 9.1 x 9.8 cm Overall: 10.1 x 12.6 cm..G... more

Woman's face

Accession Number: 1978:0213:0003..Maker: Silberstein, L., Dr...Title: Woman's face..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 7 x 5.7 cm Overall: 8.3 x 10.1 cm..Georg... more

Glass dish with classical figures, ceramic bowl and vase of flowers

Accession Number: 1978:0181:0011..Maker: H. Wormleighton..Title: Glass dish with classical figures, ceramic bowl and vase of flowers..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions... more

Three men playing cards

Accession Number: 1978:0170:0014..Maker: Unidentified..Title: Three men playing cards..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 9 x 11.6 cm Overall: 10.1 x 12.7 cm..... more

Woman in gold costume

Accession Number: 1978:0170:0024..Maker: Unidentified..Title: Woman in gold costume..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 9.2 x 6.6 cm Overall: 10.2 x 12.8 cm..G... more

Man with book sitting in chair

Accession Number: 1978:0213:0002..Maker: Unidentified..Title: Man with book sitting in chair..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 7 x 6.7 cm Overall: 8.3 x 10.2... more

Crowded beach

Accession Number: 1978:0175:0024..Maker: Unidentified..Title: Crowded beach..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 9.5 x 12.1 cm Overall: 10.1 x 12.6 cm..George E... more

Woman in Oriental inspired gown, sitting in wooden throne

Accession Number: 1982:2714:0003..Maker: Unidentified..Title: Woman in Oriental inspired gown, sitting in wooden throne..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 9.7 ... more

Woman in satin dress holding mirror

Accession Number: 1980:0437:0001..Maker: Unidentified..Title: Woman in satin dress holding mirror..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 10.6 x 8.1 cm Overall: 12... more

Hibiscus

Accession Number: 1977:0374:0031..Maker: Unidentified..Title: Hibiscus..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 10.1 x 8.3 cm..George Eastman House Collection..Gener... more

Matterhorn, Swiss Alps, Switzerland

Accession Number: 1978:0170:0043..Maker: Unidentified..Title: Matterhorn, Swiss Alps, Switzerland..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 8.6 x 11.7 cm Overall: 10... more

Woman standing in flowering bush

Accession Number: 1978:0170:0004..Maker: Unidentified..Title: Woman standing in flowering bush..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: Image: 9 x 11.7 cm Overall: 10 x 12... more

Wall Street Trinity

Accession Number: 1982:2050:0002..Maker: Charles C. Zoller (American 1854-1934)..Title: Wall Street Trinity..Date: ca. 1915..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: 3 1/4 x 4 in...George ... more

Two nurses and child dressed as "Uncle Sam" in WWI Support Parade, Pasadena California

Accession Number: 1982:2033:0025..Maker: Charles C. Zoller..Title: Two nurses and child dressed as "Uncle Sam" in WWI Support Parade, Pasadena California..Date: ca. 1917..Medium: color plate, screen ... more

Children

Accession Number: 1982:2040:0041..Maker: Charles C. Zoller (American 1854-1934)..Title: Children..Date: ca. 1918..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: 3 1/4 x 4 in...George Eastman Hou... more

Children in costumes with flags at Jones Park

Accession Number: 1982:2054:0043..Maker: Charles C. Zoller (American 1854-1934)..Title: Children in costumes with flags at Jones Park..Date: ca. 1918..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensio... more

Charles Zoller with bicycle

Accession Number: 1982:2047:0058..Maker: Charles C. Zoller (American 1854-1934)..Title: Charles Zoller with bicycle..Date: ca. 1920..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: 3 1/4 x 4 in..... more

Orchid

Accession Number: 1982:2023:0011..Maker: Charles C. Zoller..Title: Orchid..Date: ca. 1923..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: 3 1/4 x 4 in...George Eastman House Collection..General i... more

Seneca Pool 1924

Accession Number: 1982:2112:0009..Maker: Charles C. Zoller (American 1854-1934)..Title: Seneca Pool 1924..Date: 1924..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: 3 1/4 x 4 in...George Eastman... more

Silver Lake

Accession Number: 1982:2070:0002..Maker: Charles C. Zoller (American 1854-1934)..Title: Silver Lake..Date: 1907 - 1932..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: 3 1/4 x 4 in...George Eastm... more

Man and women carrying suitcases

Accession Number: 1982:2047:0052..Maker: Charles C. Zoller (American 1854-1934)..Title: Man and women carrying suitcases..Date: 1907 - 1932..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: 3 1/4 ... more

Knights of Damascus (?)

Accession Number: 1982:2047:0062..Maker: Charles C. Zoller (American 1854-1934)..Title: Knights of Damascus (?)..Date: 1907 - 1932..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: 3 1/4 x 4 in...... more

Orchid

Accession Number: 1982:2102:0006..Maker: Charles C. Zoller..Title: Orchid..Date: 1907 - 1932..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: 3 1/4 x 4 in...George Eastman House Collection..Genera... more

Child and nurse

Accession Number: 1982:2047:0072..Maker: Charles C. Zoller..Title: Child and nurse..Date: 1907 - 1932..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: 3 1/4 x 4 in...George Eastman House Collectio... more

Orchid

Accession Number: 1982:2025:0006..Maker: Charles C. Zoller..Title: Orchid..Date: 1907 - 1932..Medium: color plate, screen (Autochrome) process..Dimensions: 3 1/4 x 4 in...George Eastman House Collection..Genera... more